On June 26, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a front page article on the “fast graying” population of Fayette County with a subhead that millennials are needed to help ensure our future. It seems that Fayette County has the highest percentage of population 65 and older in the entire metro Atlanta area and the county population is continuing to age ahead of all other surrounding counties.
What made the article even worse was that on the same front page was a quote (with picture) from the ex-Peachtree City mayor and former Fayette County commissioner, Steve Brown, saying that Fayette County needed millennials with families and not more “clubs and bars.”
I have never seen a better example of “open mouth and put your foot in it.” It is that kind of thinking and leadership which has put us on the path of not attracting younger people to the county.
About 80 percent of millennials are single (marketingcharts.com). So here we have a former leader of this county coming out and saying that Fayette County is not interested in attracting 80 percent of the millennial population.
As far as the county not needing “more clubs and bars”? I am not sure what county Mr. Brown is living in but he can’t be talking about Fayette County, which now rolls up its sidewalks at 9 p.m. or so. There are no establishments in the county that can be classified as clubs, according to Fayette County zoning, city of Fayetteville zoning or the city clerk of Peachtree City, other than a couple of country clubs.
And too many bars? There are bars co-located in restaurants and some sports bars, but for Mr. Brown to peddle the image that we are overrun by clubs and bars and that we don’t need any “more” is a totally false picture of the county.
I am glad that we can put an “ex” in front of Mr. Brown’s titles, but unfortunately he can still do damage to the county’s image with his misrepresentation of what kind of people we are trying to attract and by painting the county as some kind of Sodom and Gomorrah having too many clubs and bars.
I hope that the current leadership of Fayette County can repudiate Mr. Brown’s misguided and incorrect description and goals of Fayette County and present a more welcoming image.
Peter T. Pearse